Assobiotec, the national association for the development of biotechnology in Italy, part of Federchimica, has signed an agreement with the European Biosolutions Coalition: an international reality born last 26 October in Brussels, with the aim of identifying and overcoming the European regulatory obstacles that slow down the spread of biotechnological solutions in the agricultural and industrial fields.
The signing took place in the framework of Ecomondo, during the event "European Partnerships for Sustainable Development" whose speakers were Fabio Fava, University of Bologna & National Bioeconomy Coordination Board (CNBBSV), Italian Presidency of Council of Ministers; Christian Patermann, Advisor & Former Director at DG RTD, Environment and Bioeconomy, European Commission; Sofie Carsten Nielsen, Director EU Biosolutions Coalition; Elena Sgaravatti, Vicepresidente Federchimica Assobiotec; Marit Hvithamar Rystrøm, seconded to the European Biosolutions Coalition by Danish Industry.
A strategic international alliance for the biotechnologies
The coalition currently brings together national and sectoral associations from the economy and industry. Its members include Danish Industry, an association representing around 20,000 companies in Denmark; the Dutch Confederation of Industry and Employers, VNO-NCW; the Federation of Austrian Industry IV and Economiesuisse, the Swiss business federation. New memberships are also expected in the coming months.
The aim of the Biosolution Coalition is to work to identify the legislative barriers for the development and marketing of bio-based products in Europe and the policy actions that are necessary to overcome them. To increase awareness among political decision makers of the advantages and possibilities offered by biosolutions for a more sustainable future and disseminate correct information among stakeholders, member states and European institutions through a proper communication to institutional decision makers and civil society.
Biotech is a key player, but there are too many barriers to its development
(Fabio Fava, University of Bologna & National Bioeconomy Coordination Board CNBBSV, Italian Presidency of Council of Ministers; Christian Patermann, Advisor & Former Director at DG RTD, Environment and Bioeconomy, European Commission; Sofie Carsten Nielsen, Director EU Biosolutions Coalition; Elena Sgaravatti, Vicepresidente Federchimica Assobiotec; Marit Hvithamar Rystrøm, seconded to the European Biosolutions Coalition by Danish Industry)
“Biotechnologies applied to the agricultural and industrial fields are an extraordinary resource for sustainable development and can play a key role in giving a concrete response to the great challenges of our time: the need to produce more food with fewer resources, the protection of biodiversity, the fight against climate change, the need to adopt a One Health approach, just to name a few", explains Elena Sgaravatti, Vice President of Assobiotec
Despite this, however, too many cultural and regulatory barriers still slow down their development at european and national level. The legislative process for approval and marketing of a bio-based product takes approximately 2-3 years in countries such as China and the USA while in Europe it takes 5 to 10 years with a significant loss of competitiveness.
"Unfortunately, there is still a lack of awareness of the value and extraordinary potential that this sector has, also in terms of economic opportunities, growth and employment", says Sgaravatti.
Bio-products and biofuels, according to data from the European Commission, represent approximately 57 billion of the European annual turnover and lead to the creation of at least 300 thousand jobs in the Old Continent. Not only that, it is estimated that, by 2030, the potential of bio-solutions will create a global economic impact of more than 400 billion, with growth of more than 165% since the beginning of 2020.
Assobiotec joins the European Biosolutions Coalition
(Sofie Carsten Nielsen, Director European Biosolutions Coalition and Elena Sgaravatti, Vicepresident Federchimica Assobiotec)
"Our membership to the newly-born European Biosolution Coalition is intended to be a contribution that the National Association of Italian Biotechnology also makes to bring down the many cultural and regulatory barriers that are leaving Europe on the margins of a global revolution: the biorevolution, on which building the future of the Planet", concludes our Vicepresident Elena Sgaravatti.
“We are very happy to welcome our Italian partners from Assobiotec to the European Biosolutions Coalition – says Sofie Carsten Nielsen, Director, European Biosolutions Coalition - The potential of biosolutions is huge and can help Europe reach its green targets. But to make use of that potential we need more decisionmakers, especially in Europe, to understand what biosolutions are all about. The Commission President, Mrs Ursula von der Leyen has now made biotechnology and bioindustrial solutions – or in short biosolutions – a priority for the EU. This is something we can only applaud. Now we need to act in order for many more biosolutions to be able to reach the European markets to solve challenges with the green transition and secure Europe geopolitically, economically and in terms of future green jobs”.